Look, but don't touch.
That's the implied message in five new signs recently installed on the Edmonds waterfront that show a harbor seal pup resting on shore. They were provided by NOAA Fisheries through a grant for permanent educational signage.
The signs are located at Brackett’s Landing North and Brackett's Landing South, Olympic Beach, Marina Beach Park and the off-leash dog park.
The grant funding and production of the signs were facilitated by Kristin Wilkinson, marine mammal stranding specialist with the Protected Resources Division of NOAA Fisheries.
The intent of the signs is to educate beach visitors about what to do when they encounter seal pups on the beach.
"The signs have phone numbers to call in case a seal pup is spotted," said Sally Lider, environmental education coordinator for Edmonds Parks and Recreation.
That includes the number for the Edmonds Seal Sitters (425-327-3336), a volunteer group established in 2008 to tend to marine mammals on Edmonds beaches. Most are baby harbor seals, which are called "pups."
The founder is Susan Morrow, a beach ranger with the City of Edmonds’ Discovery Programs.
“People are very curious about these young seals," . "And the pups are quite cute, which can be a problem because people then want to get too close to them, try to pet them, feed them and cover them with towels to keep them warm.”
Morrow says beachgoers should not touch, feed, move, pet or otherwise disturb marine mammals.